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Spotlighting November's Coach of the Month

By The Coaches Site, 11/27/20, 3:15PM EST


Coach of the Month presented by The Coaches Site

This season marks the fourth year of the OMHA Coach of the Month presented by The Coaches Site. We asked for nominations of deserving coaches and after much deliberation, Kyle Raymond of the Tecumseh-Shoreline Tier 1 U9 team was selected as the Coach of the Month for November.

Here's his story as told by his nomination:

Coach Kyle has contributed his time, effort and knowledge to this age group. Not only are players developing their skills and building chemistry on the ice, they're forging friendships off the ice that will last a lifetime. Coach Kyle sends a clear message of discipline to his players that reminds them they're representing the emblem on the front of their jersey as well as the name on the back of it. He expects his players to open doors for others in the community and set an example of what a Tecumseh Eagle should be.

Coach Kyle is currently working on getting the U9 Eagles involved in a community endeavour called Snow & Leaf Angels. This is a volunteer service that identifies and provides aid to members of our community who are either senior residents or have physical disabilities. As a parent group, we are thankful to have Coach Kyle mentoring our children and hope the players will continue to pay forward the valuable life lessons hockey is teaching them.

Coach Kyle played minor hockey in Belle River and always knew he would give back to the game as an adult. He joined Tecumseh Shoreline as a volunteer five years ago and feels very supported from the coaching and parent groups.

Why is it important to you to teach these young players lessons like holding open doors?

As a coaching staff we always encourage the players to represent the logo on their chest and their family name on the back with respect and pride. Small things like opening doors shows them that you put people before you and it translates into that team first mentality.

We focus on giving the players a say in the dressing room and often ask them before games and practices “what does it mean to you to be a leader?”, “ what ways would you pick up a teammate if you saw they were upset?” and, “ what does the word respect mean to you?” Even at 8-9 years of age they collectively as a team come up with some incredible answers. It is amazing how engaged they become when they see how important their contributions are to the team as a whole. We focus on the players being leaders on the ice, at school, in the community or at home while understanding that it is a privilege to be part of the “Eagle team” and the responsibilities that come with it.

Why get involved with volunteer initiatives like Snow & Leaf Angels?

This program offers the players to have a positive effect on the well being of the community. By helping out others who are unable to shovel a driveway or sidewalk we believe this will have a lasting impression on these kids. It will not only bring them together as a team but also, teach values that will serve them as they grow into community leaders themselves.

How have you adjusted your coaching plan for this season to fit with the Return to Play Framework and what have you noticed from your players?

Probably the biggest change from last year is not having the extra time to speak with the players in a dressing room setting. The 10 minutes we had last year prior to going on the ice was used for explaining some drills, talking about the day at school and just enjoying being together as a team.

With ice time being at such a premium this year our preparation is geared towards making the most of every opportunity. We have found now that by asking the players about certain plays and what some other possible options could have been will help them process it better. The players are actually teaching themselves in those instances and it has been more successful compared to the “do this on that play and not that”. It helps the players understand the “why” while encouraging them to be creative in all areas of the ice.

What lessons do you hope your players take from this year that they can hold onto for future seasons?

Two constant things that we talk to the players about is their Effort and Attitude. We remind them that these are the only two things that are directly in their control. All we ask is that they bring their best effort and a positive attitude and in turn our coaching staff will provide the same for them. It is our hope that whichever avenue these players take in the future, the skills we are teaching will prepare them to be both successful on and off the ice.

Submit Your Coach of the Month Nomination

Please note that all previous submissions are still eligible for upcoming Coach of the Month awards and do not need to be resubmitted.

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The Coaches Site is comprised of individuals who have first hand experience in hockey as players, coaches, managers and parents from minor hockey, to junior hockey, international competition and all the way to the NHL. The Coaches Site offers a platform that supports coaches and a positive competitive culture at rinks around the world.

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